BOSTON (AP) – Maybe another week off would have done Kenny Rogers some good.

Rushed into the rotation when his suspension for shoving two cameramen was cut from 20 games to 13, Rogers gave up Manny Ramirez’s long home run in a five-run fourth inning Tuesday night and the Boston Red Sox scored nine more off the bullpen in the eighth to beat the Texas Rangers 16-5. The Red Sox won their fourth straight game and their 12th in 14 tries to move 5 games in front of the New York Yankees in the AL East. It’s Boston’s biggest lead in the division since the end of the 1995 season. Bronson Arroyo (10-7) allowed four runs and seven hits in 7 1-3 innings. He took a 7-1 lead into the eighth before Texas scored four runs off four Boston pitchers to make it 7-5.

Mike Timlin needed one pitch to end the threat, getting Kevin Mench to line out to left, where a charging Ramirez caught the ball backhanded. Boston answered with a season-high nine runs in the bottom half to win its 11th consecutive game at Fenway Park.

Rogers (11-5) allowed five runs and seven hits in five innings, walking one and striking out five for his first loss since July 3. He was booed at every turn, but he was spared an even worse night when umpire Derryl Cousins turned Gabe Kapler’s would-be homer into a double. Rogers was suspended 20 games by commissioner Bud Selig for a June 29 tirade in which he shoved two cameramen. On Tuesday, an arbitrator trimmed the punishment to 13 games. Rogers retired the first eight Boston batters before Kapler’s drive bounced off the top of the Green Monster. Ironically, it was a TV cameraman who captured how lucky Rogers was: Video clearly showed the ball bounced beyond the red line along the top of The Wall that signifies a home run.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona was able to control his temper when arguing with Cousins, the third-base umpire, but outfielder Trot Nixon, who’s on the disabled list, was ejected from the dugout. Kapler was stranded at second when Johnny Damon lined out.

But Rogers had no such luck in the fourth. Edgar Renteria and David Ortiz singled before Ramirez hit one over the Green Monster seats.

With one out, Kevin Millar singled, Tony Graffanino doubled and Bill Mueller singled to score one run before Kapler’s groundout made it 5-1.

Boston made it 7-1 in the seventh when Renteria doubled and scored on Doug Brocail’s wild pitch, and Graffanino hit an RBI groundout.

Notes: Rogers’ ERA, which had been second-best in the AL at 2.77, rose to 2.99. … The Rangers, who lead the majors with 189 homers, were held homerless for three straight games for the first time all season. … Hank Blalock had three hits for Texas. … Barbara Bush threw out the first pitch, bouncing it to her husband, former President George Bush, in honor of turning 80 in June. … Damon, who leads the AL in batting, singled in the eighth to extend his hitting streak to 14 games. … Ramirez raised his major league-leading RBI total to 107. … Boston sent 13 batters to the plate in the eighth.

AP-ES-08-10-05 2246EDT


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